Public Notice of Proposed Transition-to-Practice Policies

To: ACEN Constituents
From: Marcy Stoll, CEO
Date: February 25, 2019
Re: Proposed Transition-to-Practice Policies

The ACEN Board of Commissioner’s approved Standards and Criteria for the accreditation of Transition-to-Practice programs in July 2018. The ACEN is excited to seek public comments on the proposed Transition-to-Practice Policies. Interested parties have the opportunity to offer comments from February 25, 2019 to April 12, 2019. Please provide any comments by e-mail to Jessica Dermody, Executive Assistant to the CEO.





What are Transition-to-Practice Programs?

Transition-to-Practice (TTP) programs are designed to build a bridge between a nurse’s formal education and the real world of nursing practice. TTP programs facilitate and support the nurse’s transition from student to licensed practice. The literature suggests that the benefits of TTP programs include improvements in the quality of patient care, enhanced patient safety, improved employer retention of nursing staff, and increased competence and confidence of the participating nurse. The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health (2011) report recommend that “accrediting bodies…support a nurse’s completion of a transition-to-practice program (nurse residency) after they have complete a pre-licensure or advanced practice degree program or when they are transitioning into new clinical practice areas.” The ACEN, as the leading authority for nursing education accreditation, has developed a TTP accreditation process in order to further fulfill its mission to support the interests of nursing education, nursing practice, and the public.

Why Accredit Transition-to-Practice Programs?


  • Demonstrates organizational commitment to best practices and improving patient outcomes.
  • Demonstrates organizational commitment to nursing staff.
  • Aids in recruitment of nursing staff.
  • Aids in retention of nursing staff.
  • Fosters ongoing, self-examination, re-evaluation, and focus on the future.
  • Engages program educators in best practices related to peer evaluation.
  • Heightens program educators’ and administrators’ awareness and responsiveness to areas needing improvement in the transition-to-practice program.
  • Provides opportunities for networking among transition-to-practice programs.
  • Provides recognition that the transition-to-practice program has been evaluated, and periodically re-evaluated, by a qualified independent group of peers and demonstrates the extent to which the transition-to-practice program meets Standards and Criteria specific to transition-to-practice programs.

What Makes Transition-to-Practice Accreditation with ACEN Different?

The ACEN Standards and Criteria encompass best practices for the development, design, and implementation of a quality Transition-to-Practice program. Unlike other accrediting agencies for Transition-to-Practice programs, the ACEN Standards and Criteria for TTP programs are not prescriptive and allow program leaders flexibility. For example, the program leaders may develop their own curriculum OR may purchase and implement a curriculum from a third-party. With ACEN accreditation the program leaders have the freedom to take control and develop a TTP program that meets the needs of your nurses and the needs of the community you serve, while still ensuring the program meets the quality standards of an accredited program.